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Home Excavate: Collegiate Archaeology Training Expedition

Excavate: Collegiate Archaeology Training Expedition

Week Long Collegiate Archaeological Training

This is a week-long, hands-on educational experience in which you will work side-by-side with professional archaeologists on actual archaeological research sites on the Montpelier property! Learn the techniques and processes of archaeology while contributing to the discovery and preservation of history. In addition to the field experience, you will spend a day performing archaeological labwork, where you will be introduced to the post-excavation analysis of archaeological materials excavated from dig sites on the property!

Archaeology of Memorialization

The 2024 excavation season will focus on the Archaeology of Memorialization (as discussed in the following Story Map), where we will work to define the boundaries of the Montpelier Burial Ground of the Enslaved and build our understanding of how the ancestors of Montpelier’s descendant community memorialized their loved ones in this sacred space. We are working closely with the Montpelier Descendants Committee (MDC) in all aspects of these surveys and excavations. The continued archaeological surveys and excavations at the Montpelier Burial Ground of the Enslaved will help The Montpelier Foundation and the MDC build a memorial to honor the legacy of their ancestors.

The archaeological work that students will be involved in is aimed at serving the larger goals of memorialization. The archaeology of memorialization aims to do the following:

  1. Understand the extent of the burial ground and location of burials to protect those burials and prevent any disturbance of human remains during the landscape restoration process.
  2. Explore the evidence of how the enslaved and their descendants commemorated and honored that sacred space
  3. Restore the landscape of the burial ground, and honor those buried there.

The excavations associated with memorialization are about understanding the landscape, and will NOT include the excavation of burials or human remains. The protection of human remains is central to this project and the interests of the MDC.

Sample Schedule (Subject to Modification)

Costs and Deposit

Cost: $950.00 for the week

Deposit: $300.00

We have payment options– a non-refundable deposit is all you need to reserve your space on one of our programs!

Note: Descendants and African-American community members are welcome to attend at no cost

Other Upcoming Programs

Learn more about our other programs here.

If you have any questions, please email:



Aug 18 - 23, 2024


All Day


James Madison's Montpelier
James Madison's Montpelier
11350 Constitution Highway, Montpelier Station, VA 22957